To the Parishioners of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish

To the Parishioners of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish

Dear friends, it is with mixed emotions that I share this news: effective December 5, 2021 I am being reassigned to the Parish of St. Mary in New Haven. While St. Elizabeth of the Trinity will still be my family’s parish, it will no longer be my diaconal assignment. Just like priests, deacons are ordained for the Archdiocese and not for a specific parish. When a need arises that requires one of us to move, the Archbishop has the authority to reassign us. Our assignments can last from a minimum of five years to a maximum of ten. In June, I will have completed eight years of diaconal ministry in North Haven, and would have to move regardless in 2023. Of course in some cases there are exceptions to this rule, but those exceptions are minimal. Several deacons and priests in the Archdiocese will also be reassigned in the coming weeks primarily as a result of consolidations integral to pastoral planning. As regards our parish, I am the only person being moved. Deacon Ronnie, Deacon Steve, Father Santiago and Father Curran will remain to serve you, the good people of North Haven.

As you are probably aware, I have been working for Archdiocese as the Director of Pastoral Planning since 2014 and also as the Director of the Office of Permanent Deacons. As part of pastoral planning we continue to study the organization of the archdiocese to determine based on need where consolidation of parishes makes sense. New Haven is one of those places.  We are trying to organize by municipality throughout the Archdiocese with the goal of having one parish in each city/town where possible, as is the case in North Haven, Hamden and Wallingford as well. Other municipalities will be following suit over the next several months/years.

New Haven currently has eight parishes, six of which will eventually become one. The process will take a few years to complete. Having lived and worked in New Haven since 1976, and having served in several parishes there, it makes sense to have me reassigned to St. Mary’s Parish. I will be a part of the clergy team under Fr. Ryan Lerner as pastor, Fr. Anthony Federico as parochial vicar and Deacon Martin O’Connor. I genuinely look forward to this new assignment but will miss all of you whom I have grown to know and genuinely cherish. The vast majority of you have been extremely supportive of me and in one way or another have helped me grow as a person and as a deacon. I will truly miss serving and worshiping with you.

So this is not good bye, but rather, farewell. I will continue to pray for all of you and ask that you do the same for me, for my family and for my new clergy team and parish family in New Haven.

Sincerely and Gratefully,

Deacon Ernie